Red Dead Redemption 2‘s huge game world is full of secrets for players to find. Players have found references to real-life murder cases, famous works of fiction, and Rockstar’s other franchises throughout the game’s fictionalized America. Some of those secrets were never quite realized as they were originally planned, however.
Now, one Red Dead Redemption 2 content creator has done a deep dive into the files to find out which secrets were deleted or partially put into the game’s final retail release. Some examples are goofy, while others are downright disturbing.
If the player travels across the river northwest of the town of Valentine in Red Dead Redemption 2, they’ll come across a seemingly abandoned shack called Clawson’s Rest. Inside the shack they’ll find one of the game’s most grizzly scenes. The corpses of two children are inside, supposedly starved to death. To make things even more disturbing, players can find a note which explains how the two children ended up dying hungry. To make matters worse, it might have been easily avoided.
The “Letter to Glen and Eddie from Momma” reads:
“Glen & Eddie
I’ve gone to track down those men and get our money back.
The door’s locked and the windows are boarded shut. Promise me you won’t answer to nobody who comes calling even if you think you know them. There’s enough food and water for four days or more but I should be home by tomorrow night at the latest. Practice your reading and writing for me.
All my love,
It’s not clear what happened to Glen and Eddie’s mother, but presumably she was killed or taken by the men she was seeking out. Unused game files suggest that the player could have saved the two children. It seems that, originally, players would have found the two boys near death but still alive. They would then get the objective “Ask Children to Leave Shack.” Once completed, the Red Dead Redemption 2 player would have got the objective “Take Children to Valentine” and then “Take Children to the Sheriff.” Unfortunately for Glen, Eddie, and the faint of heart, the chance to save the children from their dark fate was never implemented into the final game.
The Guarma chapter is one of Red Dead Redemption 2‘s strangest moments. After a heist-gone-wrong, some members of the Van Der Linde Gang are able to escape to a tropical island nation in the midst of an uprising, after a storm sinks their ship. This has led some players to suspect that Guarma may have been used to create assets for other Rockstar projects. Some of the flora was reused in Grand Theft Auto Online, while others have speculated that Guarma might hint at Vice City or South America as the setting of Grand Theft Auto 6.
Originally, players would have been able to hunt sharks around the coast of Guarma. A cut compendium entry found in the files describes the sharks: “found around the coasts of Guarma. Use a long scope rifle to take down a shark of this size.” Unfortunately for wannabe anglers and Jaws fans alike, these killable sharks were cut from Guarma at some point during the game’s production. It’s likely that the sharks would have been included in some of Red Dead 2‘s hunter challenges, though players swimming out to collect their prizes might have found themselves becoming fish food before they had a chance to claim their reward.
One of the strangest things about Guarma is that, once the Guarma chapter is over, players have no ability to return to the island, making it completely distinct from the rest of Red Dead 2‘s huge open world. One map of Guarma also appears to show that the area revealed in-game is a tiny fraction of the island’s map in the story, and it’s unclear if players were originally going to have access to the entire nation, or if that was just flavor.
There’s a game file which suggests that players could have gone back to Guarma after leaving – it’s even possible that it might have allowed them to travel to the island nation before the events of the events of the “Banking, The Old American Art” mission forces the gang to flee Saint Denis by boat. The file reads “Buy Ticket to Guarma (100 dollars).” The Guarma chapter does include important moments like Dutch killing an old woman in cold blood, leading Arthur to truly question his judgement. Despite this, many fans consider the Guarma chapter their least favorite part of the game, so it’s not likely that many fans would have been eager to return anyway.
As well as sharks it seems that Red Dead 2’s list of animals originally included Bobcats which could have been hunted. This is indicated by three files which list Bobcat carcasses of varying quality. There’s even a picture of the drawing that would have appeared in the players’ compendium had Bobcats made it to the retail release, as well as a named PED model. Rockstar even went as far as to record the audio files for the Bobcat, which makes it seem strange that it never made it into the final release.
While travelling through one of the major towns in Red Dead Redemption 2, players can find an Englishman named Nigel wandering the streets calling out for his friend Gavin. If asked, he’ll say that Gavin disappeared and that he’s looking for him, as well as outlining a rough description. Apparently, Gavin is a “big bloke” with a Cockney accent and a great sense of humor.
Originally, however, players would have been able to loot a note from Nigel which the game’s files reveal would have been “a restraining order from Gavin.” Instead, it was replaced by a letter from Nigel’s friend Tom, which suggests that Nigel and Gavin really are friends who travelled to America from Berkshire in England. Tom also mentions that Gavin’s letter mentioned some different details, however, with Nigel apparently claiming to have become a millionaire in Rockstar‘s version of the United States. Whether or not that’s true, and Gavin’s fate altogether, remains a mystery.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is available now on PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One.